• 2000010: Windows 8.1 Tips

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    AKB2000010: Top Tips for Windows 8.1

    By @Microfix

    Rev 1.1 | April 4, 2018

    Looking for a quick reference guide for those of us who use the above operating system, and either do not wish to move to W10, or maintain some sort of control over the next few years?

    On a current or fresh installation, I do the following checks, albeit limited, but it helps.


    KB971033 – Windows activation technologies.
    KB2976978 – Performs and collect compatibility appraiser logs to ease upgrade to 10
    KB3044374 – WindowsUpdate Client to enables the upgrade from Windows 8.1 to 10
    KB3046480 – Update helps to determine whether to migrate the .NET Framework 1.1 when you upgrade Windows.
    KB3068708 – Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry.
    KB3080149 – Adds telemetry points to (UAC) to collect information on elevations from low-level requests.
    KB3123862 – Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
    KB3150513 – Appraiser.sdb and Appraiser_telemetryrunlist.xml.
    KB3173040 – Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1 end of free upgrade offer notification.

    If you have any of these listed patches and wish to remove them, do the following:

    To access an elevated CMD or Powershell:
    Right click the respective shortcut and click the ‘Run as Administrator’
    you will then be faced with the UAC (User Account Control) pop up,
    insert your password and click ok.

    Within the elevated CMD prompt or elevated Powershell, type:

    wusa /uninstall /kb:971033 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:2976978 /norestart *unremovable on downloaded Microsoft W8.1 ISO
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3068708 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3044374 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3046480 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3080149 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3123862 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3150513 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3173040 /norestart


    Type the following in an elevated CMD prompt:

    WMIC qfe list >UpdateReport.txt

    NOTE: This will generate a list of updates installed,that I find very handy as a quick reference, that is repeated every month upon installation of new patches.

    Save this .txt file somewhere safe for future use.


    Next thing on the list is to disable the “Diagnostic Tracking Service”.
    This service is ON by default on an existing/ new installation.
    I suggest you run the (RECOMMENDED) command below just to make sure, if you, like me, are suspicious of this service.

    Open an elevated command prompt and run the following command:

    sc stop Diagtrack

    If, for whatever reason, you wish to start the “Diagnostic Tracking Service”
    Open an elevated command prompt and run the following command:

    sc start Diagtrack

    To delete the “Diagnostic Tracking Service”, type the following:

    sc delete Diagtrack

    NOTE: If you decide to delete the “Diagnostic Tracking Service”,
    running SFC in the future will re-install it upon repairs and needs to be removed once again; this is at your discretion but, I find that stopping it is sufficient.


    By executing the following, minimal logging will occur with important logs for the system continuing regardless.

    To switch off Windows Error Reporting FOR ALL USERS.

    From within Control Panel go to:

    Action Center/
    Change Action Center Settings/
    Problem Reporting Settings/
    Change Report Settings for ALL users/
    Never Check for Solutions (not recommended)

    NOTE: If this is switched off on a “per user only” basis, the system will STILL log things in the background.

    Perhaps you have additional tips you could share?
    Please feel free to contribute to this list for W8.1, so that we can all enjoy our OS until 2023

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    • #310499

      The number one tip in my book for Windows 8.1 is to install Classic Shell or some other similar product.

      Installing Classic Shell allows you to configure Windows 8.1 so that it looks and feels just like Windows 7. Doing this would allow you to have three additional years of support from Microsoft on a version of Windows that for all practical purposes is Windows 7 — not only does it look and feel just like Windows 7, but it will allow you to continue to run all of your Windows 7 software.

      You can get Classic Shell for free at the following web site:


      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
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